Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

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Geoffrey Cooke
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Geoffrey Cooke » 24 Dec 2022 09:22

Richard Anderson wrote:
22 Dec 2022 16:08
What is the nearest German "airbase: to Svalbard? I measured to the closest point of land. You "compared" your notion to Malta, which sat smack in the middle of the sea lanes from Sicily to Tripoli. Svalbard will be 400-odd kilometers to the sea lanes threading the needle, while the Norwegian bases would be about the same. It is not "like" Malta at all.
Hi Richard.

Nearest German airbase in 1941 is at Tromsø. Nearest airfield period is Hammerfest which was a civilian airfield.

Where does 400 kilometers come from? All of the Allied summer convoys went between Spitsbergen and Bear Island, the total distance between those islands is 240 kilometers, so the convoys were considerably closer than even 240 kilometers during that period. During the winter because of the Ice blockage.

You can see below typical examples of Arctic routes.

Summer: https://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-Convoys-3 ... B008D4ZHMG

Winter, a usual route until attacked by Regenbogen: https://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-Convoys-R ... B008D4ZJZ6

Exceptions to the routes were usually when under attack, like when PQ17 scattered. https://imgur.io/i5QtKdi?r and https://www.ebay.com/itm/274836692815

Italian convoy routes came from the boot either to Benghazi or Tripoli. Closest it comes is a place in the Mediterranean almost directly due north-east of Misrata, Libya. Measured the approximate, about 240 kilometers.
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-sirte ... 11529.html

So either the Svalbard’s are the same distance or closer to the Arctic routes than Malta was to the Italian routes. :thumbsup:

Peter89
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Peter89 » 24 Dec 2022 11:30

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 08:30
As for Narvik, I think the airlift failed because it crossed over hundreds of miles of allied controlled territory riddled with RAF,
It failed, because it was conducted with disorganized, pell-mell forces, stopgap solution supplies*, Narvik was outside the range of Ju 52s and the Germans did not have a proper landing strip under their control near Narvik. Enemy activity only added to the disaster.

*Once they've dropped iron crosses instead of valuable supplies. In the Iraq airlift, one of the transports carried cameramen instead of bombs or fuel :)
Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 08:30
Btw Trømso airfield to Spitsbergen is about the same distance as Oslo to Narvik (airlift route).
This should give you a hint. ~1000 km was outside the range of a fully loaded Ju 52. So what Urmel said
Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 10:37
I suspect they might get there with almost zero payload, but it would be a one-way journey.
is actually correct.

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 08:30
Urmel wrote:
22 Dec 2022 10:37
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload. It is also questionable from where would they fly.

viewtopic.php?t=182771
According to that very thread it’s between 1100 kilometers and 1500 kilometers at full payload, distance between Tromsø airfield and Spitzbergen is 940 kilometers, much less for Bear Island.
That very thread's numbers are wrong, seriously wrong.
phylo_roadking wrote:
17 Oct 2011 15:36
Fuel consumption at that "best economy cruising" was 113 litres per every 100 kilometers....or in reality ~1200km range.
In reality, the BMW-132 engines - depending on the variant - consumed somewhere around 0.23 kg of avgas per PS. In other words,

BMW 132 A consumed (eg. Ju 52 g3e & g4e):
150 litres of avgas per hour at 1850 rpm (Resiseleistung), and 181 litres of avgas per hour at 1925 rpm (Dauerleistung)

BMW 132 H consumed:
180 litres of avgas per hour at 2000 rpm (Reiseleistung) 211 litres of avgas per hour at 2090 rpm (Dauerleistung)

PER ENGINE.

Thus, an early Ju 52 consumed 450-543 litres of avgas per hour during the smooth part of the flight. With the extra consumption at the takeoff and the safety margin, a fully tanked and loaded Ju 52 could fly approximately 1000 km in one direction. 1200 km is at the limits, assumes a smooth take-off, a perfectly straight flight, good weather conditions, excellent engine conditions, and probably a Startgewicht at or somewhat below 10,000 kg. But it would be still 600 km so nowhere near enough to make a round-trip from Trømso to the Spitsbergen.

The only possible solution for this was the crazy practice of a Ju 52 carrying her own fuel and a hand fuel pump. Sadly, this was only possible if the aircraft was somewhat overloaded with cargo and underloaded with fuel, like in case of the Crete-North Africa airlift. Thus it is not possible for a fully loaded Ju 52 to transport cargo AND the fuel for the way back home to the limits of its fully-tanked range. I hope it does make sense now why I wrote
Peter89 wrote:
22 Dec 2022 07:46
The Ju 52s are interesting. I am not sure they'd be able to reach the Spitsbergen with any sensible payload.
, which is especially true for the Ju 52/See variants, because those had worse fuel economy.

But of course you can take a look at any Ju 52 airlift operations: Foggia-Tirana, Rhodos-Mosul, Athens-Crete. You'll find that Ju 52s usually refuelled after 700-800 km.


A lot of people don't like to read through these very technical, low quality documents, so here you go (from the 1939 manual):

Image
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 24 Dec 2022 14:03

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 08:30
According to that very thread it’s between 1100 kilometers and 1500 kilometers at full payload, distance between Tromsø airfield and Spitzbergen is 940 kilometers, much less for Bear Island.
We are talking about the sea-landing version here. What effect do you think those swimmers have on fuel consumption?

How much of a reserve are you calculating? What if the weather is adverse at your destination and you need to get back to Norway? The idea that just because max range of the land-based version is sufficient for a ferry flight at a certain range, that this would have any meaning for actual operations in the Arctic theatre during long-distance overwater ops seems far fetched.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

Richard Anderson
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 Dec 2022 15:34

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 09:22
Hi Richard.

Nearest German airbase in 1941 is at Tromsø. Nearest airfield period is Hammerfest which was a civilian airfield.
Hi Geoffrey,

Calling them "airbases" gives the wrong picture. Hammerfest was a seaplane anchorage and refueling point with limited infrastructure. Tromsø was also a seaplane base and had more infrastructure.
Where does 400 kilometers come from? All of the Allied summer convoys went between Spitsbergen and Bear Island, the total distance between those islands is 240 kilometers, so the convoys were considerably closer than even 240 kilometers during that period. During the winter because of the Ice blockage.
Sorry, but I was being lazy and expending only as much research effort as I felt this idea deserved. So I took the midpoint. It makes as much sense as supposing that German supply convoys to Svalbard can travel without interference at any time of year.
Richard C. Anderson Jr.

American Thunder: U.S. Army Tank Design, Development, and Doctrine in World War II
Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall
Hitler's Last Gamble
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Urmel
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Re: Arctic/Atlantic island hopping?

Post by Urmel » 24 Dec 2022 15:41

Geoffrey Cooke wrote:
24 Dec 2022 08:30
I’m sorry but all evidence points to convoys in any and all forms being exactly why they wanted to capture Murmansk.
I'm sorry, but this is a complete misreading of the evidence, and cherrypicking in 104-21.

The convoys in question here would be a British expedition, not supplies to the Soviets. And the best way of dealing with this, in fact the only one, would be to take Murmansk. Not taking Murmansk also would leave a substantial Soviet force in the northern theatre that could threaten German and Finnish positions there.
Far North
In the far north Hitler wanted to close in on Murmansk and seize that port, if sufficient attack forces could be made available. The Russians would thus be unable to use Murmansk as a base for attacks against northern Finland and Norway, and British landings along the Kola Peninsula would not materialize. Another drive in the direction of Kandalaksha was planned in order to cut the lines of communications of the Russian troops stationed near Murmansk.
There is, I reiterate, zero evidence that has been provided or found that indicates that the Germans were concerned about supply convoy interdiction, and not taking Murmansk and instead relying on interdicting a possible expeditionary force doesn't address the threat posed by the Soviet fleet and army units there.
The enemy had superiority in numbers, his tanks were more heavily armoured, they had larger calibre guns with nearly twice the effective range of ours, and their telescopes were superior. 5 RTR 19/11/41

The CRUSADER Project - The Winter Battle 1941/42

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